The song and dance spills over everywhere, even onto the football field, in this season's best new TV show, Glee, which kicks off with new episodes today, 9/9/09, at 9 p.m. (It's even on Channel 9 in Minneapolis, but that doesn't help with the nines because it goes at 8 p.m. in its Central time zone.)

A fascinating, or whatever, aside into numerology has its place in a review of Glee, which journeys down a whole map of side trails, serving so many different characters with their own personal plot dilemmas, or, in some cases, three or four.

At the heart, it's high school, the saga of a handful of misfits who want to perform in the ultra-uncool show choir, and their classmates, who include football stars and cheerleaders, some of whom, at least, will need to be brought along so the choir can have the minimum of 12 members to compete at regionals. The choir's goal is to win a prize and continue in existence under the frugal fiscal policy of Principal Figgins, who doesn't pay for losers.

Back in the ancient 1990s, when the choir amounted to something at McKinley High in Lima, Ohio, Will Schuester was one of its stars. Now, he's the Spanish teacher working to revive the choral tradition while his nemesis, Sue Sylvester, seeks to keep all the glory for her cheerleading team.

The football coach smokes pot, sold to him by a metrosexual (gay?) former music teacher who may try to steal the only true female talent in the choir for his own show. And she may go, because Mr. Schuester refuses to give her everything to keep her around, sort of like Terrell Owens, and there we are back again to football, albeit professional.

"What is this guy doing?" you may be thinking if you've read this far, and I hope you have, because I desperately want you to watch the edgy, effervescent Glee - don't forget it's the best new show - and I'm trying to give you a little written preview of what your experience may be like.

Except that my preview has none of the jaw-dropping, beguiling, and sometimes electrifying musical performances that pop up in every show, and if you think you like the entertainment of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, how can you not like them? Or even watch the show just to see them, even if you don't care about all the other stuff, including the two rather wacky women in Mr. Schuester's life, not counting Miss Sylvester, who, like Wile E. Coyote, seems destined always to fail in her over-the-top efforts to thwart the energy and enthusiasm of the choir folk, even as she also provides us with bags of laughs.

Shows as satisfyingly entertaining as Glee rarely come along, and when they do, they mystify a lot of people, who get nervous because they're not used to such glittery packages crammed full of wonder on TV.

Be neither mystified nor nervous. If it starts to seem a little too chock-full (I think it's just right), relax and wait for the next glorious song and dance. It will be along shortly.

Jonathan Storm:



Tonight at 9 on Fox29